Intentions and Assurances


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Scene Title Intentions and Assurances
Synopsis Hana meets Eve for tea, and to find out what her interest is in the looking glass.
Date March 28, 2018

Cat's Cradle: The Oracle Room

Down the stairs leads into a small hallway lit by dimmed down by blue christmas lights, at the end are two doors, a white painted one with a padlock and a black painted one. The black door has an old fashioned clock embedded into the wood. The gears seem to be spinning backwards.

Inside of the black door there is a room that is almost always filled with a smoky haze. The vents in the corners of the room help with the place not becoming too stuffy a couple large fans are positioned to help with the smoke if it becomes too much. Fabrics of various vibrant and muted colors and large comfy pillows fill the room, there is a work area in a corner filled with blank canvases and unfinished paintings. A few cabinets and bookcases are placed around the room. The room at large seems to hold a large number of completed paintings. Hanging on the wall or stacked against each other or in piles, the Three Mothers hangs over a fireplace tucked into the corner. There is an old beat up round table which an ornate glass bong sits in the center placed alongside a large black hookah. A deck of playing cards and a few candles are placed in the center.

There are a multitude of reasons why Eve got up earlier than usual this morning. Banging about in the kitchen singing at the top of her lungs to some Queen song. A demo tape she haggled over with a blind man who recorded them years ago. She doesn't even know the words. Guessing that Eimi must be out somewhere or the young woman would be inquiring as to what is going on. Eve preps for two hours, her face set, concentrating on staying present as to not burn the muffins. Muttering instructions given to her by Gillian and Lene over and over. The kitchen in her loft upstairs will be filthy but the preparation worth it for her guest.

Blueberry muffins are on the menu this morning and that is the scent that mingles in with the smells of hookah, marijuana and incenses that are usual for the Oracle Room. Eve hasn't smoked, yet. She’s just sitting down the large tray topped with a plate of freshly baked muffins and two cups and a large tea kettle, from upstairs down into the room and setting it on that large table in the middle of the room near the hookah and bong her watch reads eight thirty A.M as she finishes.

Humming softly to herself the raven haired woman has let her locks be loose and free today. Framing her face and light gray eyes as she leans back into the comfortable, large pillows that surround the room. Eve’s dresses in a simple cotton dress that doesn't make a sound as she moves about.

Bare feet bounce up and down as she moves her legs, restlessly. Something that's funny because she knows that moment that her old friend and comrade will walk in. But she’s impatient, she hasn't seen her in ages she would say. Much to long. Eve closes her eyes and raises a finger in the air like a conductor. “Click, click click.” She says, miming the sounds of a cane hitting the floor.

It's just a breath past eight-thirty when Hana tries the door of Cat's Cradle and, finding it unlocked, lets herself in — punctual as befits one perennially no more than a thought away from an entire legion of digital clocks. She spends a moment to take in the quiescent space, its stage and mismatched seats, the pragmatic art of the bar; after that moment, she moves down the stairs, past a white door and through a black one that might seem more forbidding — or more symbolic — to someone else. The wolf's-head cane does indeed click against the flooring as she walks, rhythmic punctuation in the surrounding silence. Eve has its cadence incorrect, however.

Entering the room, Hana gives it a brief survey, her attention lingering on the painting that has pride of place on the wall. Not long, though, as she takes cue from her hostess and moves to sit on the opposite side of the table. There are no surprises in Hana's presentation today — charcoal pants, cream blouse, black leather jacket, ordinary high-top boots. Casual clothing, for the woman who runs a paramilitary organization; but for as comfortable as she seems to be with sitting on pillows, her posture retains a measure of reserve. It's not a wholly casual visit. "Good morning," she offers neutrally.

Hana’s arrival and neutral greeting is not matched by Eve. The woman gets that excited look in her eye and she leans forward with a grin, “Hana! Oh oh, Major.” Eve settles on that title, “You look as sharp as ever. The blade that never dulls. Your hounds are something special.” A compliment from the hostess. “A muffin? I made them fresh. There's tea as well. Lots of tea. Ginger, Earl Grey, have your pick please.” Eve waves at the tray on the table. There is something to be said for Eve’s level of respect for Hana. She does try to dial down her er.. erratic behavior but Hana knows her by now and it is hard being less than what she is. She settles for an in between in her mind. Attempting (and not all the way succeeding) at appearing professional and collected like Hana is.

That cane gets a momentary stare from the oracle. She remembers who carried that before Hana and who carried that before Eileen. “That cane is ironic,” She comments thoughtfully. “I'm glad it's found a stable home.” It's not the fault of the cane that one of its former masters was a true monster.

The fireplace in the corner is not roaring with flames today. There isn't any smoke to bother with. Just the scents they have left in their wake from previous nights. Various new paintings sit in the nearby as well. Some covered in the sheets, among the ones present is another copy of that painting of the hound on the mound of corpses. A closeup of Kravid’s severe face looms behind it, the face of Bruce Maddox peers out from behind her shadow.

“I hope you liked my gift to you. I am sorry that you haven't caught her yet.”

The major inclines her head at the returned greeting, at the offer of refreshments. She accepts a muffin and plain black tea, but sets them aside for a moment, giving the tea time to steep. Her glance goes to the cane in question. "Perhaps it is," she says, noncommittal. To Hana, the cane's greatest value is in having been gifted to her when she needed it. The full sweep of its history is irrelevant to its function.

Looking back to Eve, Hana shakes her head slightly in response to the woman's remark. "These things take time," she replies, "and Kravid is a canny woman with many resources at her disposal." At least, those are the inferred conclusions. The non-canny ones make glaring mistakes. "I appreciate your information," the major adds, picking up her tea at last, "although I am not yet sure there is anything we can act on at this time."

She takes a sip of the tawny liquid. "I did want to ask," she says after, "you said she 'found you' at the Safe Zone. That implies Kravid wasn't. Do you know anything else about her location?"

There’s an audible, “Ah-ha.” As if that answer was something to really chew on, eyes downcast as she thinks. Eve reaches out to take a muffin, ripping a corner of it to shove until her mouth with a satisfied groan. “Good goood.” Smacking her lips she pours and then stirs ginger tea.

“She's just hiding behind her money,” the Oracle looks pensive, “Eventually you’ll smoke her out. Burn the paper, flush out the snake.” Of this she sounds confident. And she for once doesn't mean her usual smoke out.

With a eager nod, Eve leans forward and goes to sip at her tea. “It is given happily.. freely, we go way back. And.. Kravid is hiding with naughty science faeries. She must be stopped.” This last bit said firmly and then Eve is tapping her chin, “Maybe not now you can't but maybe in a week, a whisper of her in that direction. Now you’ll know what to look for.”

“Sea-Tac Safe Zone,” the correction is with a troubled expression. “Now this is where things get weird,” they were weird before, “Kravid and Bruce said I had been there in a coma for months! They found me wandering outside of the Sea-Tac Safe Zone. Dehydrated, deranged,” her tone mocking that of Erica Kravid. “I thought that I was in Moab but I couldn't be sure isn't that far? I remember a biting cold, winter’s chill, I almost died out there. And then I was in that hospital bed.” Strange.

Taking another sip of tea, Hana nods briefly to Eve. She has just as much confidence in that outcome as Eve, if not more. Lack of confidence has never been one of the major's flaws, particularly not in professional concerns. One dark eyebrow raises as Eve continues — a week? — but Hana doesn't comment; instead, she sets her cup back down and pulls off a piece of muffin, eating it while her host elaborates.

"Moab is a long ways from Sea-Tac, yes," Hana confirms once Eve's finished. She doesn't seem perturbed by the tale of timeskips and seeming teleportation, but then, she didn't experience them firsthand — and once one's accepted the story of one, the other isn't so far-fetched. She folds her hands around her teacup, brings it to her lips and sips at it, takes time to consider before speaking any further. "Well, I'll see what I can make of this," the major states at last. There are no assurances, not with six years' uncertainty to consider.

Dark eyes contemplate Eve across the mouth of a teacup, through the wisps of steam rising off its contents. "Another question — what is the significance of a looking glass to you?"

The lack of assurances go unnoticed or rather she doesn't wish for Hana to make promises or get ahead of herself and Hana does not do so, Eve admires that about the woman. A calm, collected force of nature. Is how she sees the woman, a digital goddess whose prowess doesn't just reign on the Internet.

Confirmation that Moab is indeed far from SEA-TAC gets a confused look out of the long haired woman. Nodding her head slowly, “Please let me know if anything turns up, or if I can be of more assistance.” Eve feels that need to help, the curiosity of just what Kravid was up to and why couldn't escape her. Though it had been long since she was a “guest” of the Institute those strings seem to linger, on the edges of her already storm of a mind.

When the question of a Looking Glass is mentioned Eve’s head snaps up, instantly more engaged in the conversation if that were even possible. “The Looking Glass, it's a machine. Kooky science, allows you to see through worlds. Or I guess into parallel timelines, universes. Places where,” Eve’s voice lowers, “We may have gone blonde or something.” What a tragedy.

Eyes wide as she leans back on her pillow below her. “The things are connected. I was searching for answers. To the triangle, it's made of blue light. That led me down a rabbit hole. Puuuuuuuuuuuuu..” her voice trailing off, lowering a octave at a time as she goes. “I had the vision of Kravid while tumbling down that hole.”

There's a quick look up to search Hana’s eyes, “But.. why do you ask?” There's an uncertain look in her eyes. It's not as if she doesn't expect Hana to know things. It was something she liked about Hana, she knew things without having to see the future. That was awesome in Eve’s eyes.
But the memory of her journey down the rabbit hole makes her shudder.

Tearing off another piece of muffin, Hana smiles faintly at her hostess' request. It's only half an assent: If Hana shares anything, it will be solely what she feels doesn't compromise ongoing pursuits. Eve's strong response to her query is noted, but the guest merely eats her pastry in silence, intent upon both words and mannerisms given in return.

A triangle of blue light leading to a vision of Kravid. Hana nods slowly, pensively, even as she lifts her teacup again. She is evidently in no great hurry to resolve Eve's curiosity, apparently reflecting on the explanation provided. "A blue triangle…" she echoes at last, gaze refocusing on the woman across the table. "I know the name," Hana allows, "but the project is defunct. How did you see the device?" she asks, having noticed the turn of phrase the precognitive used — that it led her to a vision.

There's implications in that phrase Hana doesn't care for, though they are only implications — and it's not upon Eve that they reflect.

Eyebrows raise and Eve tilts her head as she comes to rest on the balls of her feet in a crouch, her thinking position. Hana has information. There's a flutter in her chest at the thought. “You have heard of it?” There's a blink, Eve reaches over to grab at a halfway smoked spliff and lights it. Puffing generously before blowing the smoke up to the ceiling.

“That.. is strange. I was sketching,” She waves her hand. “And a few things came out of it. That triangle was one of them. I couldn't understand what it was.” Eve’s gaze goes unfocused recounting the tale. “I focused on it. It gave me insight. There is something.. on the other side.” Eve’s look grows mildly fearful, she's not sure if she should fear the woman with the golden eyes who brought her back to life.

“She, wants out.” Eve snaps her teeth up into the air following the statement. “I.. believe she is an old soul. Lost somewhere between here and there. Waiting. My friend Dorothy and I got a glimpse of her. On a battlefield, it was in Japan! Could you believe it?” Eve’s mood ranges from fearful to excited and a tad bit nervous.

“Lady Zeus- Lynette and I have been investigating. Partners in crime!” The woman being familiar with Hana, Eve smiles softly at the thought of her friend before she grows serious again.

“Any information you have on the project would be most helpful Hana,” the use of someone's rightful name means Eve is trying her best to be serious. “We share things! Exchanges, gifts, books, rewards, treasures..” she could go on and Eve knows Hana knows this. “I could offer you something, you need? Hmmm? A fortune told? A trade of sorts?” Eve loves a good barter.

“This nut has been a tough one to crack. I don't think to ignore it would be the best choice.”

Hana is quiet and still as Eve expounds excitedly, idly continuing to eat her muffin, expression inscrutable. She raises a hand at the last, forestalling that enthusiasm. "I've heard of it," the major reiterates. "A project Kravid was supervising. Which explains why your vision went to her." Inasmuch as the whys and wherefores of a prophetic vision can be rationalized at all.

Dorothy, Lynette, someone on 'the other side', whatever that is. The woman on whom this information is dumped suspects that other side is nothing she wants to know about — and perhaps also something she must. Hana cradles her teacup between her hands and gazes into it as if answers might be found in its shallow depths. Her silence stretches long, but no matter how extended the contemplation, the view remains the same.

"You, Lynette, Dorothy. Who else is involved in this, Mas?" the major asks at last, lifting her gaze, regarding the other woman with keen intensity. Nearly feline intensity, a lioness roused from ease though not yet into action, metaphorical ears perked and attention honed. A disquieted energy collects in her posture, infuses her manner; yet for all that Hana remains seated. For now.

"And if you get your answers, if your investigation bears fruit — what do you intend to do then?"

“That sneaky bitch, of course she was.” Eve smacks a fist into an open palm and nods her head, puffing at the joint sitting on her lower lip. Kravid is becoming more important in Eve’s mind and she looks over to Hana, exhaling smoke over her shoulder with a soft hiss.

When the lioness awakens, the hyena notices and she grows still, peering through the smoke at her. That call of her last name sends a shiver down her spine. Hana has a tone and it's very. She waves her hand, “The team is small,” taking on a tone of serious squad leader. She is not but she misunderstands Hana’s change in demeanor. Most times people are telling her to keep a lid on certain topics, “Nobody will find out.” Lowering her tone to a whisper, “Need to know only. We have Lady Zeus who is trying to save her husband Otter Eyes! He was in my dream of the Looking Glass. The voice.. she can see me eye to eye. She wants out,” she realizes that she has wandered off track. “So oh yes, there is Otter Eyes. They held another one of him. The Institute, those tricky devils. And then there's Dorothy! My new friend, she travels. We hit the road Jack!”

There's a bit of a snort and then the oracle takes another puff of her spliff, “We can't start a panic,” back to serious Eve expression and tone.

“If this tree bears fruit.. we might have to destroy it.” Eve sounds firm in this, she doesn't sound like she's wanting to explore the depths of the Looking Glass to spy for her friend that she hasn't met, the other otter. “But mostly to watch,” pointing with her eyes. “We would know what to look for, how to keep it from being used as a way to let her in.” At least Eve hopes it's possible.

“It seems like our wires are crossing Major, with Kravid being the former head huncho and what have you. I must add!” She holds up a finger and smiles again, that hyena like grin. “If during our investigation, should we come across anything else.. Kravidesque. You will be the first to know!” Assurances, assurances.

Hana's eyes narrow as Eve expounds upon her intentions; if she were feline in truth, the very tip of her tail would be twitching in gathering frustration. The woman's rambling is not the easiest to pick key elements from, least of all in this context, which is messy to begin with. At the end —

At the end, Hana leans forward and locks eyes with her hostess, reaches out in an imperfect reflection of Eve's own raised hand, sets one finger across the other woman's lips. "Keep it that way," she directs, low, soft, on the very edge of menacing. "I don't want to find out you're messing with something like this."

Whether she means the last assurance, the first, or all of them at once is not clear; the distinction is likely immaterial.

The moment passes. Hana sits back, frame stiff with residual tension, her prior intensity fading into something approaching normal levels. She picks up what's left of her muffin; refrains from taking an immediate bite. "Who is Dorothy?" approaches a casual, conversational degree of curiosity — but when it comes to former Institute research projects, casual for Hana can only be a veneer.

Being shushed by someone is something Eve is familiar with and as Hana does so the seer blinks and nods her head eyes widening before.. she makes a kissing face and smooches the flat of Hana’s finger. Sealing a promise. “I promise.” Whether that's to the last assurance or the first. They are mirroring each other in slight ways. There's seems to be a choreographed dance blossoming at the moment and the hyena believes she has come prepared.

To her messing with things like this, Eve really doesn't think she has to remind Hana how well that advice is taken and so she also nods and puffs more of the joint, pale gray eyes taking in the woman. Lioness indeed.

And a question is poised that Eve knows the answer to of course. But how she answers is important. She promised Odessa. There's not a blink or a twitch as she continues to smoke on her joint. “Remember Hiro? She's like him.” It's simple, it's who she is. “Met her recently, sweet gal. Met her through Lynette.” It's just as conversational as Hana is. Eve had to deceive her doctor at the psych ward in order to get out before. Omitting things. And this is just another show, another part. A delicate part. Hana is a friend but Eve is on the verge of believing that this Looking Glass business.. is on its way to ruin real fast. Information is key. And Odessa is needed, for the Looking Glass. “Do you have any more information on Looking Glass?” A counter question.

Hana eats the last of her muffin as Eve resumes speaking, letting the simple, mundane activity occupy her hands, her expression, her outward display of attention. Inwardly, the idea of like Hiro… well. She chews, swallows, says nothing on that score. Neither does she press the subject; instead, she takes up her tea and holds the cup of still-steaming liquid beneath her nose, breathing in its fragrance. Time seems to tick past loudly, for all that there are no analog clocks in the room.

"What I have is merely history," Hana allows at last. "I could not have even said what it looked like, before now." She nods minutely towards Eve, the woman's earlier implications of complementary information. Takes a sip of tea before continuing.

"I can tell you that Kravid took over the project in 2010. Under her, a prototype was constructed at Natazhat, and another in progress at the Arcology. Both were destroyed." The when is self-evident. "Details are likely something Kravid took with her when she fled," the major concludes, before emptying her cup.

The wait is noticeable but Eve loves idle time, it leaves her time to puff more of her spliff and sip at her own tea. She's enjoying the ginger as the taste washes over her taste buds. The six muffins she ate earlier in the morning before Hana’s arrival weren't really agreeing with her. Her stomach rumbles in the silence and she gives a sheepish smile.

When Hana decides to say what she knows then Eve’s eyebrows are raised. She tilts her head. “Well fuck me.. she was busy.”

The longer haired woman puts the spliff out and finishes her tea. “If you find her, if you could ask.. about this..” she looks serious. Eve isn't sure how this will play out yet. She's afraid to look deeper on her own, the woman with golden eyes seemed to be watching.

“I've been dreaming about this thing for years and just didn't know what it was. Now that I do..” it's the most honest Hana has heard Eve. The nerves from what she's seen. “Hana,” there it is. A given name. She's serious, “The things I have experienced surrounding this thing.. I can't allow anyone else go through that. My brain won't.. compute with that.”

Placing her teacup on the table with a faint air of finality, Hana looks over at Eve, one brow raising as her voice trails off. As her hostess doesn't seem to quite be finished, she waits; soon enough, more words follow. The manner in which they're spoken is an interesting contrast, one that the analyst merely files away for later consideration.

"If I find her," Hana replies, resolve sharp and stern as steel, "the project will be stopped." That's the goal, anyway, one of them; the hope. That by rooting out the seeds scattered in the Institute's fall, the remnants of their projects will also die, and the whole thing will at last be consigned to the dustbin of history.

"I can't make promises," the major continues, regarding the other woman levelly across the table, as serious in her answer as Eve was in her request. "I cannot guarantee we find Kravid before she finishes — whatever she's working on. But we will try."


The word resonates in her head, joining the chorus of whispers and echoes that reverberate there already. “Stopped.” Eve repeats and with a nod towards the other woman. She's in agreement, maybe not for the immediate halting of the project for she must save her Other Otter but she does think it can't be allowed to run long. If only she could pluck the Other Mateo from his new home and place him where he belonged. That would be a miracle and Eve’s expression mirrors one of hope, outwardly she looks like she's just agreeing with Hana, that they will stop this aversion to the natural law. That gets her head really spinning though because predicting the future and changing it was it natural? “Ah ah don't go there.” She whispers to herself and taps her temple.

Pale gray eyes take in Hana as she speaks more of trying. Eve always is a fan of A for effort. “I believe you. I think you and your hounds are the best for this quest. I will assist from afar, no toe stepping.”

Eve stands and walks over to the painting of Kravid and Bruce Maddox. “I don't say this lightly. I think we have to stay in better touch. The..” Her look darkens as she gazes at those faces on the canvas. “The Institute has all these plans.. enormous shifts of balance. They upset scales. I don't have an army. No no, nobody to follow me like they will you.”

“You're the key! One of them, there might be a few more. But you, are special, and your Hounds.” Her faze flicks to the ceiling. “It was very nice seeing you again Hana.” It comes suddenly but not surprisingly.

Hana regards Eve curiously at the whisper, but only nods as she continues. Rising as her hostess does, Hana also moves towards the painting, considering its details one more time. There are no surprises in the imagery, nothing she hasn't already observed a dozen times.

There is a surprise in Eve's statements; Hana levels a look at her, brows raised. "You're telling me we need to keep in touch?" She has no comment on armies, followers, Hounds; only: "You know how to reach me."

At the end, Hana inclines her head. "Likewise," she says, not solely for form's sake. "And thank you for bringing this to my attention," the major adds, nodding to indicate the painting.

"Take care of yourself," she says at the last, reproving admonition more than expression of concern, hearkening back to the warning delivered earlier. And then Hana shows herself out just as she showed herself in, leaving Eve alone with her leftover refreshments, her mind-altering substances, and her existential musings.

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